Posted by Ademola Adegbite and Adetola Bademosi - Abuja | 23 May 2018 | 1,452 times
The Catholic Archdioceses of Abuja, on Tuesday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to voluntarily resign his exalted position, if his government could not bring a halt to senseless killings by Fulani marauders across the country.
Staging a peaceful protest from National Ecumenical Centre (NEC) down to St. Augustine Catholic Church, Area 3 in Abuja, the demonstrators said life is sacrosanct and valued, and urged the Federal Government to arrest and prosecute the killer herdsmen, saying Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians, irrespective of tribal, religious, social or political inclinations.
The protesters carried various inscriptions which read thus: “Government must stop sleeping; Stop killing or resign; Arrest and prosecute killer herdsmen; We want good governance; Terrorism has no tribe; Who supplies guns?; Let the international community come to our aids; Lord have mercy on Nigeria; No one deserves to die; Government must wake up; Government should protect lives and property; and life must be valued as well as Rest in peace, Reverend Fathers Joseph Gor, Felix Tyolaha and all the victims of Benue killings.”
Addressing newsmen, the Director of Communications, Abuja Archdioceses and Chairman, Planning Committee for the Protest, Reverend Father Patrick Alumuku called for peace to reign in Nigeria, saying apparent ignorance of Federal Government to stop the killings was unacceptable and unjustifiable.
“We intend to send a strong message to the nation, and that message is that life is important, and without life there will be no nation and that the apparent ignorance by this government has failed to accept the many deaths that we have experienced in this country is completely unacceptable, unjustifiable and does it not lead to good governance.
“And therefore, we want to say to this government that enough is enough and we cannot go on this way. We are calling for peace in Nigeria and we know without peace there can be no development and progress. So, we are praying for peace. We are expecting that peace will come to reign in our land.
“We are demanding that the killings must stop. It was Abacha who once said that if the government sees killings going on in the nation for 48 hours and does not stop it then government itself is involved in it. And so there is a finger pointing towards the government because these killings have gone on not for 48 hours, it has gone for months and months. We want a stop to the killings.” He declared.
Also speaking, the former Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Mike Omeri, said the government has a way of giving excuses when it comes to tackling important issues.
In her own message, the National Market Women Leader, Chief (Mrs.) Felicia Sani, decried the killings, saying nobody deserves to be killed as Nigerians need to work together to ensure peaceful co-existence in the land.
Earlier before the protest during the Mass, the Auxiliary Bishop of Abuja Catholic Diocesan, Reverend Father Anselem Umoren accused President Muhammadu Buhari of playing ethnicity with the killer herdsmen.
While urging him to shelve ethnic and religious sentiments and arrest the killer herdsmen that have continued to waste lives across the country, the cleric said the country might be consumed by the level of neglect which government was showing to the ongoing killings by Fulani herdsmen.
He said the incessant bloodletting by the herdsmen across the country, and particularly the recent killings of Catholic priests and faithful during a church service in Benue State without any arrest was clear evidence that the President places more value on ethnicity than the nation.
According to him, the president must secure all lives in the country and save Nigeria from the looming war, which the killings may result into.
“Since after the killings of Catholic priests and some faithful in Benue state, we have not heard any arrest. Our hands must be free from bloodshed.
“The President must secure all lives, he must ensure that killer herdsmen are brought to justice, which is all we are asking for,” he said.
He recalled that in the President’s inaugural speech he promised to treat all Nigerians fairly and equally regardless of their tribe or region.
“The President must do a soul searching to reassure himself whether that which he promised during his campaign is what is happening in the country presently.” He queried.
Reverend Father Umoren, therefore, urged the Christian faithful and Nigerians to imbibe the value that would sustain harmony, peace and development in all regions of the country.
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